Are you sending out an S.O.S.? - Grasshopper
Seems we all send out some sort of signal when we need help, even though we may not know we're transmitting.
My signal started out as a joke, or so I thought. The signal I sent out was in the form of cavalierly saying the phrase – "Nobody loves me."
It seemed to come out when I was at a low point but I was quick to cover it up by laughing it off. Even I bought into the cover. "Of course there are people who love me," I would say to myself, negating my spontaneous claim that nobody loved me.
Then the discovery hit me. It's not that people didn't love me that caused my utterance; it was that I didn't feel loved at that moment. I was attempting to assign how I felt to someone else – not recognizing it as my own feeling.
You may have your own way of "asking but not asking" for help. Most often the help we seek is just some form of recognition from another that we're feeling poorly. We're not asking them to fix our situation, just notice it.
Sometimes we're too proud to admit that we need a shoulder to cry on and shoulder on. But part of us can't keep our feelings secret and out oozes our pain, perhaps like mine, in a refrain – "Nobody loves me."
Start noticing your signals. They're easy to spot when you know what to look for. Look for the action you take when feeling low. That's your signal that you need a sympathetic ear – someone who can create a space for you to enter where you feel acknowledged.
This is not an exchange of "I know how you feel"; it's more like the Buddha's suggestion to be a receptacle for someone's pain and then transmute it and give it back to him washed clean.
You're not offering them advice, just a place to rest until they recharge.
You won't find these helpful people by covering up your pain; that will just get you to retreat once again. The best way I've found to cultivate these types of folks is to offer the service you seek to everyone who comes to you in pain. Some of them will intuitively know how to reciprocate when it's "your turn in the bucket."
Find your S.O.S. It's your signal that you need help getting out of this mess.
All the best,
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